Erythropodium taoyuanensis is a new species of encrusting octocoral that was discovered from algal bed of Taiwan in the west Pacific Ocean. The newly described octocoral from Taiwan is not much a looker as far as corals go being what we would call a brown star polyp and is actually closely related to the Erythropodium from the Caribbean Sea which encrusts and totally grows over anything on the reef.
Although it was discovered in Taiwan the genus Erythropodium is known from a few scattered localities in addition to the Western Atlantic including the Solomon Islands and Northern Australia but it’s likely that this cryptic species has a much broader range and just doesn’t catch the eye of divers and reef surveys. While we wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to grow Erythropodium taoyuanensis in our own aquariums there’s always the possibility that this species or ones like it might be discovered with more attractive plumage like green star polyps but most likely it probably grows more like the invasive blue clove polyps. [Pensoft]